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The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund for Individual Artists Suitcase Export Fund Launches Thirteenth Funding Cycle

The Bradley Family Foundation, in collaboration with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (GMF), announces the thirteenth funding cycle of the GMF’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Suitcase Export Fund for Individual Artists.

By - Dec 2nd, 2015 01:11 pm

The Bradley Family Foundation, in collaboration with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (GMF), announces the thirteenth funding cycle of the GMF’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Suitcase Export Fund for Individual Artists. Created to help visual artists with the cost of exhibiting their work outside the four-county area (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington), the Fund is designed to provide greater visibility for individual artists and their work as well as for greater Milwaukee. To date, the Fund has supported a diverse group of 245 individual artists and nine artist collectives exhibiting throughout North America, and in Europe, Africa, the former Soviet Union and Asia. The awardees have received a total of more than $138,000 in grants and work in a variety of media, from film to ceramics. They include well-established artists as well as those at the start of their careers. A special effort has been made to support Nohl Fellows as they exhibit work made during their fellowship year. (See below for a list of 2014 awardees.)

The Suitcase Export Fund is open to practicing artists residing within the four-county area who want to export their work beyond the area for public display. Priority is given to artists with exhibitions outside of Wisconsin. The Fund provides support in two areas: transportation of the work (packing/shipping/insurance) and transportation of the artist. The maximum grant available to an individual is $1,000. Funding is only provided for upcoming opportunities (exhibitions or screenings commencing between December 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 for the Winter Cycle; similar opportunities commencing between June 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017 for the Summer Cycle).

The Suitcase Export Fund opens twice a year, disbursing awards in response to demand until the funds for each cycle are exhausted. The Winter Cycle opens on December 1, 2015, and thanks to an additional gift from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Joseph R. Pabst Fund, $7,750 will be available. The Summer Cycle will open on June 1, 2016 and a total of $7,500 will be awarded. The guidelines are now online at, and the electronic application will open at 11 am on Tuesday, December 1. For those without computer access, paper applications are available from Polly Morris at or (414) 446-8794.

Artists have responded very favorably to the Suitcase Export Fund and its simple application process. The Fund contributes to the creative health of the region by supporting local artists at all career stages, from the emerging to the established; alleviating some of the financial burden faced by artists who want to exhibit their work at a distance; and by getting the work of Milwaukee artists out into the world. The support provided for artist transportation has enabled artists to be on site to install work–important to most artists and indispensable to those working in the areas of installation, performance and site-specific art. The opportunity to attend openings, where artists can meet with collectors and distributors and make critical connections with gallery owners, is consistently cited as a significant benefit. The Fund also creates opportunities to expose work in new regions and to new audiences, to meet other artists and see their work, to sell work, and to plan new projects. Although the Fund does not directly support residencies or ancillary activities, awardees have taken full advantage of opportunities to make new work, deliver gallery talks, and participate in symposia at their exhibition sites.

In 2014-2015, many awardees reported on opportunities created by their presence at openings and exhibition venues: future collaborations, plans for artist exchanges with the host city, invitations to return as a visiting artist or for a residency. They commented frequently on the value of being able to show their work to new audiences, or to reconnect with communities they had left many years before. In addition to selling work, meeting collectors, or beginning relationships with galleries, artists encountered a range of benefits. Some were very specific, as when Bass Structures found themselves in the midst of like-minded engineers at the CREATE Festival, and were able to brainstorm solutions to some of their technical production problems. Others were unexpected: Cynthia Brinich-Langlois taught a cyanotype workshop in Clearmont and so engaged a science teacher that he decided to incorporate the process in his curriculum. Some of the pleasures were purely aesthetic: the painter Richard Galling, who went to an international festival to teach his fellow artists how to cook beer-boiled brats, a Milwaukee specialty, immersed himself in the color in the landscape around Geneva, familiar to him from early twentieth-century works. Most importantly, artists spoke of how the support they received motivated them to continue practicing. It was “heartening and encouraging,” observed Jamal Currie of the reaction to his solo show; Cristina Siqueira noted that the positive response to her work gave her the renewed energy she needed “for the many hours of editing I still have ahead of me.”

Artist Mary L. Nohl of Fox Point, Wisconsin, died in December 2001 at the age of 87. Her $9.6 million bequest to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is one of the largest gifts the Foundation has received from a single donor in its 99-year history. The Fund, by supporting local visual arts and arts education programs, keeps Nohl’s passion for the visual arts alive in the community.

In its twelfth cycle, the Fund made 30 awards, providing assistance with shipping and travel to thirty-two individual artists (some of them applying as groups traveling shows outside Milwaukee, and one collective. These artists–nine of them Nohl Fellows—work in a range of media and their exhibitions took them to Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Des Moines and Fairfield, Iowa; East Lansing, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Lock Haven and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Austin and Dallas, Texas; Park City, Utah; Farmville and Richmond, Virginia; Fish Creek, Kenosha, and Madison, Wisconsin; and Clearmont, Wyoming. Destinations abroad included São Paulo, Brazil; Vancouver, Canada; Mont Salève, France; and Gujarat, India.

Bass Structures (Emmanuel Fritz & Collin Schipper) participated in an exhibition at the CREATE Art and Technology Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the country’s largest festival focusing on the intersection of visual art and technology and part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Cynthia A. Brinich-Langlois brought work made during previous residencies at the Ucross Foundation in Clearmont, Wyoming–a collection of handmade artist books that address the history of various cultures, settlements, and range management techniques that converge in this place–to a group exhibition at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery.

Jim Brozek received support for his solo exhibition, “Iron Hulls and Turbulent Waters: Ore Boats, Workers and Great Lakes Shipping,” at the Michigan State University Museum in East Lansing. The exhibition includes 24 photographs and a slide show made while working on the iron hulls. In conjunction with the exhibition, Brozek gave a public lecture, “Capturing the Iron Hulls from the Inside: Worker/photographer, Photographer/worker.”

Katy Cowan opened a solo exhibition at Cherry and Martin in November. She shipped large ceramic sculptures, wooden pallet-inspired sculptures, and paintings to the Los Angeles gallery, and was on hand to install and attend the opening.

For his first solo exhibition, Jamal L. Currie showed video and video installation at the Clinton County Arts Council’s Station Gallery in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The show included television sculptures and single-channel and interactive video works.

Maura Kelly Doyle traveled to Richmond, Virginia for Friends, a group exhibition at Mulberry Gallery. In addition to showing a photograph and two sculptures, Doyle gave a presentation about Present Works, the space she co-ran in Milwaukee, and explored ways to connect the two cities.

2011 Nohl Fellow Richard Galling took part in Curbit, a three-day festival in Mont Salève, France. Galling designed his project as part of Lifetime Achievement, a local alternative pedagogical platform.

Grant Gill and fellow Milwaukee-based artists Kyle Seis (2014 Nohl Fellow) and Zach Hill (2015 Nohl Fellow) are taking a group exhibition to Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. The exhibition is a multimedia installation containing works by each individual as well as collaborative works, and responds to places visited on their way to Four Corners Monument.

Michael J. Havice shipped two photographs to CORE New Art Space, a cooperative members gallery in Denver, Colorado, for Water, a juried into the exhibition.

Jon Horvath joined a former Nohl Fellow in a two-person exhibition, On the Road: Hans Gindlesberger and Jon Horvath, at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The exhibition featured independent and collaborative works, and the artist also gave a guest lecture at Virginia Tech and offered critiques.

Julie Briede Ibar had work in six group shows at the Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, this summer.

Robin Jebavy rented a truck to transport her large-scale paintings to the ICON Gallery in Fairfield, Iowa, where she had a solo exhibition this summer.

Yevgeniya Kaganovich attended the Midlife Metals Retreat at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and participated in the accompanying exhibition. The retreat for academic metalsmiths focuses on collaborative materials research.

Kelly Kirshtner presented her live audiovisual work, “Falling in Terms of Silent” at The Third Work: Sound/Image/Interaction, a research symposium on sound in non-fiction media at Hunter College in New York City. In addition to performing, Kirshtner discussed the work’s audiovisual design and development.

Angela Laughingheart participated, with Dot Spransy, in a hat-themed, two-person exhibition at the Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Laughingheart exhibited crafted fiber hats, drawings and paintings of hats, and a sketchbook of designs.

Marsha McDonald was one of three Wisconsin artists invited to participate in a Wisconsin Waterways exhibition at the James Watrous Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin. She showed a video, 100 origami canoes, moon viewing boxes and paintings.

Kendall Polster participated in a two-person exhibition at the Lindsay Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Polster’s work included 10 welded, repurposed scrap metal sculptures.

Nirmal Raja & Nina Ghanbarzadeh exhibited together for the first time in a two-person show at the Hinterland Art Space in Denver, Colorado. Work included site-specific installations, prints, and mixed media pieces utilizing writing, text, and language.

Alec Regan of American Fantasy Classics (Nohl Fellow 2011) collaborated with Homeland Security, an artist-run, non-commercial, domestic exhibition space in Dallas, Texas on an exhibition of 2- and 3-dimensional collaborative works during the Dallas Art Fair. The exhibition included the planting and dedication of a garden plot. AFC and Homeland Security see this as the beginning of a long-term collaboration between two artist-run organizations.

Chris J. Robleski drove to Texas to participate in Art City Austin, a juried outdoor art fair run by Art Alliance Austin. Robleski exhibited the night-time photographs he makes with “just a camera, flashlights, and no computers.”

Cristina Siqueira (Nohl Fellow 2013) brought a version of the video installation she made for her Nohl exhibition, and the original artwork produced for the Monga / Ape Girl documentary poster, to Las Magrelas Bar e Bicicletaria in São Paulo, Brazil. Siquiera gave a talk as part of a “meet-the-filmmaker” night.

Roy Staab is making a site-specific sculpture installation from materials collected on the land in Gujarat for Global Nomadic Art Project, India 2015. The event is organized by the Korean Nature Artists Association and the Delhi-based TREES (Training and Research in Environment and Ecological Sciences).

Nathaniel Stern and collaborator Erin Manning created a site-specific version of Weather Patterns: the smell of red at the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of the annual International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in Vancouver, Canada. The walk-through installation includes tornado machines, spices, fans and fabric. There will be an accompanying publication.

Christopher Thompson (Nohl Fellow 2010) and Michael Vollman screened The 414s at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The short film was purchased by CNN Films.

Ann Jastrab, gallery director at the Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, selected Sonja Thomsen (Nohl Fellow 2011) for a solo exhibition this autumn. Thomsen, who attended graduate school in San Francisco and has not exhibited in that city since 2004, attended the opening.

Melissa Wagner-Lawler was invited to show an artist book and a new etching in Parts of a Whole 3 at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis. The group exhibition features artists recently associated with MCBA.

Shane Walsh will travel to New York City to execute an installation painting as part of a group exhibition at Asya Geisberg Gallery. The exhibition will include at least three additional paintings by Walsh.

2005 Nohl Fellow Steve Wetzel traveled to New York to screen his video, From the Archives of an Inventor, as part of the Flaherty NYC series at Anthology Film Archives.

Jason S. Yi (Nohl Fellow 2005) spent several days in the downtown Capital Square Atrium making “Terraform,” a large site-specific sculpture, for Art Week Des Moines in Iowa. He was sponsored by Transient Gallery, a new noncommercial space.

For a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,200 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world. Ending 2014 with more than $841 million in assets, it is also among the largest.

For further information about the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists program and Suitcase Export Fund, please visit

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